Wakefield Writes!

Wakefield’s Black Horse Poets are running a project in September which may interest Wakefield readers.  

      They are producing two exciting free events – both at Wakefield Cathedral –  in co-operation with Wakefield Lit Fest.
      Wakefield Writes! is the pre-festival event in which members of the public will be invited to come to the Cathedral and take inspiration from this beautiful and historic building to write a poem about life in Wakefield, with a view to publication.
     For the first part of the evening, the Cathedral’s Learning Manager will talk about the Cathedral, emphasising  its relevance to Wakefield’s wider, inclusive present-day culture. For the second half, The Black Horse Poets will oversee a workshop in which members of the public can write poems about life in Wakefield.

     But nobody is forced to write a poem. A lot of people may well enjoy coming along just to listen.
     The intention is to publish the poems on the BHP website and in a paperback book which will then be given away free to participants.
     The second free public event, also at the Cathedral, is Wakefield Hears! a night of poetry and music, at which the writers of the poems will be able to perform them in front of an audience. The Black Horse Poets will also be there in full voice. As will virtuoso violinist William Harrison, grandson of former Wakefield MP Walter  Harrison.

     Wakefield Writes! is on Friday 4 September, 7pm to 9pm, Wakefield Cathedral
     Wakefield Hears! is on Friday 25 September, 7.30 pm to 9pm, Wakefield Cathedral.

    Both are free. No booking required.

    For more info, go to http://blackhorsepoets.weebly.com/news.html


Wakefield Lit Fest is back!

Gothic 1 Hedgehog How to Make Awesome Comics Cover 2D Hi Res THE VERSIONS OF US FINAL Laura Barnett

Wakefield’s annual Literature Festival is back on 18th September for ten days of exciting events, with something for everyone to enjoy. The full list of events is available HERE and most events can be booked online. Here are some of our highlights:

Saturday 19 is Featherstone’s Festival of Words. Lit Fest is taking over the whole library and there is too much going on to list here but anyone interested in writing should hurry to book on Ian Clayton’s Writing workshop.

Also on Saturday 19 there will be a story time and Teddy Bear’s Picnic for children aged 5-7 at Wakefield Library  11 – 11.30 with storyteller Helen M Sant. Bring your teddy to join in!

Also on Saturday 19 I’m thrilled to welcome author Laura Barnett to Wakefield Library. Laura will be talking about her debut novel The Versions of Us which has been a best seller this summer.  Have you ever wondered what would have happened if you had made a different choice once? Laura handles three versions of Eva and Jim’s story with impressive ease. It’s moving and beautifully written and I loved it and so did everyone in my Readers Group. There are lots of copies of the book available in libraries if you want to read a copy before the event.

The popular History Wardrobe will be back on Tuesday 22 with their new presentation ‘Gothic for Girls’ looking at the history of black in fashion and adding readings from the best of Gothic literature.  History Wardrobe events are always fun so hurry to book your place.

There is another Creative Writing opportunity on Friday 25 when we welcome back Debbie Taylor, editor, novelist, journalist, author of Herring Girl and founder of Myslexia. Debbie was a popular visitor for the Read Regional promotion and this time will be leading a workshop which will focus on creating a character.

Libraries will be taking part in the Festival Big Read on Saturday 26 with story times featuring ‘Dog Loves Drawing’ by Louise Yates at 11am at Wakefield, Airedale, Castleford and Normanton libraries.

For children aged 7-12 there is a real treat on Saturday 26 at 2pm when Neill Cameron of Phoenix Comics will be holding a workshop ‘How to make (Awesome) Comics’ Neill shows participants how to generate (awesome) ideas for comics, and then how to turn those ideas into a comic story!

All events in libraries are free but you will need to book. Visit the website or pick up a copy of the festival brochure from your library to check details and booking procedures and enjoy the Festival!

Make Do and Mend

Make Do & Mend New

Featherstone Library is celebrating its 30th Birthday this September and is celebrating with a time trip all the way back to the 1940s! Join the staff on
Friday 4 September, 2pm for

Make Do and Mend! with Meredith Towne, Dressmaker and Costume Historian.
Explore Mrs Sew and Sews magical world of Make Do and Mend in this inspiring talk about the women who used the most innovative, even devious, methods to maintain a fashionable wardrobe in wartime Britain

The event and refreshments are free, but please contact Featherstone Library to book a place.

Featherstone Library
Victoria Street, Featherstone, WF7 5BB
Tel 01977 722745,
Email featherstonelibrary@wakefield.gov.uk

Mrs sew

Man Booker Dozen

Booker 1 Booker 2 Booker 3 Booker 4 Booker 5

The Man Booker Dozen, the list of 13 novels longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction has been announced. As usual, the press coverage has been about a controversy rather than the quality of the writing: this time, the fact that more American than British writers have been nominated now the range of the prize has been altered to any book publshed in English. Her’s an article from The Telegraph ‘American dominance of Man Booker prize longlist confirms worst fears’ Some of the comments sound rather like sour grapes from people who think they have less chance of winning but there is perhaps a genuine problem that major American prizes are not open to writers from around the world. Do you think prizes are better when limited to certain groups or better open to all?
Meanwhile, what do you think of the list? Has it inspired you to try any of the books? We have 5 of the thirteen titles in stock at the moment and will happily buy any of the rest if requested.
The shortlist is announced on 15 September and the winner on 13 October.

The full list is
Bill Clegg (US) – Did You Ever Have a Family
Anne Enright (Ireland) – The Green Road
Marlon James (Jamaica) – A Brief History of Seven Killings
Laila Lalami (US) – The Moor’s Account
Tom McCarthy (UK) – Satin Island
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) – The Fishermen
Andrew O’Hagan (UK) – The Illuminations
Marilynne Robinson (US) – Lila
Anuradha Roy (India) – Sleeping on Jupiter
Sunjeev Sahota (UK) – The Year of the Runaways
Anna Smaill (New Zealand) – The Chimes
Anne Tyler (US) – A Spool of Blue Thread
Hanya Yanagihara (US) – A Little Life

The Gambit


Wakefield Library and Museum invites you to The Gambit, a play by Mark Reid. There will be two performances on Wednesday 27th July at 5pm and again at 6pm. Both performances are free and there is no need to book. The Gambit is about twenty-five years of betrayal played out on the chessboard – lies, deceit and anger erupting in an epic clash between the defining Grandmasters of the 20th Century. The play is touring venues in the north before heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Don’t miss it!

Invitation to Wonderland


2015 marks 150 years since the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The White Rabbit, The Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat: who is your favourite Alice character? The strange world of Wonderland, the off-the-wall logic and the independent heroine are still fresh after 150 years. I love the original illustrations, many children will recognise the Disney version first and some may see the Mad Hatter as Johnny Depp. The best way to enjoy the story? ” ‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
To celebrate the anniversary, libraries are holding a series of Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties. All are free but please contact the library for more details and to book:
Castleford Forum Thursday 6 August 2pm
Featherstone Library Thursday 6 August 2.30pm
Hemsworth Library Monday 3 August 2pm
Horbury Library Friday 7 August 2.15pm
Pontefract Library Tuesday 28 July 10am
Ossett Library Friday 7 August 2.30pm
South ElmsallLibrary Monday 3 August 2pm
Wakefield Library Monday 3 August 2pm

Young Volunteers wanted


Aged 14-24? Keen to make a difference and develop your skills?

Libraries are looking for young volunteers to help out over the busy summer holiday period.

You could help staff with the Summer Reading Challenge and talk to children about the books they’ve been reading, help with summer activities and create in-library displays. Perhaps you’ve got some good ideas about how you could help children to have fun in the library this summer?

If you’d like to be one of the 8000+ young people who volunteer in libraries every summer, ask you local library for details now or email lib.admin@wakefield.gov.uk

Double the pleasure

Herring_Girl_cover x24237_books_origjpg_jpg_pagespeed_ic_M9XjDRZYcw

Don’t miss our next author event on Wednesday 24 June when we have not one but two authors introducing their novels. The talk will start at 7.15 pm but do join us before for tea and coffee. The event is free but please contact Wakefield Library on 01924 305376 to reserve a place.

Our authors are Debbie Taylor and Robert Williams.

Debbie Taylor is the founder and Editorial Director of Mslexia. She has worked as Editor at New Internationalist and Writing Women magazines and as a writer, research­er and project manager for many organisations, including Oxfam, Anti-Slavery, BBC 2, Channel 4, UNICEF and WHO. Her novels include The Fourth Queen and Hungry Ghosts. She lives in a decommissioned lighthouse at the mouth of the Tyne with her husband and daughter.

Her novel Herring Girl is a time-slip novel investigating a century-old murder and the possibility of reincar­n­ation. It centres on a schoolboy called Ben who wants a sex-change because he believes he has literally been born into the wrong body. Debbie says ”The book is set on the bank of the River Tyne in North Shields where I live, in two main time periods: 1898 at the peak of the herring fishing boom, and 2007 over a century later. I’ve been calling it a historical paranormal romantic crime mystery – why stick to one genre when you can have four?”

Robert Williams grew up in Clitheroe, Lancashire and currently lives in Manchester. His first novel, Luke and Jon, won a Betty Trask Award, was translated into six languages and called ‘a hugely impressive debut’ in the Daily Telegraph. His second novel, How the Trouble Started, was shortlisted for the Portico Prize for Fiction. He has worked in a secondary school library, as a bookseller for Waterstones, and has written and released music under the name The Library Trust.

Into the Trees grew from a single image: that of a baby screaming inconsolably, an exhausted father holding her late in the night, comforting, singing for her, all to no avail; this is a baby that will not be soothed. It develops into a story of a traumatic night under the ancient trees of Bleasdale Forest and its aftermath. Robert says ”
I think the book is about imperfect lives. How people strive and fail, but sometimes succeed, in living the life that is in front of them, not the life they would have chosen necessarily, but that one that is there to be lived.”

Come and meet them on 24 June and contact your library if you would like a copy of either of the books to read before the event.

Get ready to rumble!


National Bookstart Week is 8 – 14 June and this year the theme is Jungle Adventures! Join us at any of our regular storytimes to enjoy the jungle fun with lots of stories, rhymes and things to make. There’s a gift for every child to take home as well, a specially written and illustrated copy of Rumble in The Jungle by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz. But best of all would be lots of people spreading the Bookstart messsage that getting into the habit of sharing stories, books and rhymes every day (even for just 10 minutes) shows children that reading is a fun activity, while helping them bond with family, understand their world and get ready for school and beyond.Every little monkey deserves a story and a cuddle.

Details of regular storytimes are avilable on the ‘Bookstart Storytimes’ blog page.

Dementia Positive

Author photo Book Coiver

Join us at Sandal Library to meet author John Killick who has worked for many years exploring communication with people with dementia through a wide variety of arts activities He will be talking about his book Dementia Positive and sharing creative writing from people with dementia. You can find out more about his work here

Monday 15 June, 2pm

Sandal Library
Sparable Lane
Wakefield WF1 5LJ

Free event but booking is essential please
Tel 01924 303355
Email sandallibrary@wakefield.gov.uk


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